No township existed at this location until it was laid out in 1890 and gazetted as Penn. It was better known by the name given to the railway siding, Oodla Wirra. The name was officially changed in 1940. This was a crossing and watering point and service centre for the Mt. Granger and Dust-holes gold mines. The town later boasted a flour mill, school and Hotel named Halfway hotel so named as it was half way between Adelaide and Broken Hill. During the early years of the settlement flux was mined here and railed to Pt. Pirie to the BHP smelters but by the late 1890s a new source of flux was located near Gladstone.